Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yepes-Prado v. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service case brief summary

Yepes-Prado v. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service case brief
10 F.3d 1363 (1993)

Recommended Supplements for Administrative Law
Examples & Explanations: Administrative Law, Fourth Edition
Administrative Law and Process: In a Nutshell (Nutshell Series)

Petitioner sought review of a decision of the United States Board of Immigration Appeals to affirm the Immigration and Naturalization's (INS) immigration judge's decision to deny petitioner, under section 212(c) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, discretionary relief from deportation based on a drug conviction. Although petitioner had equities and was eligible for relief, the Board found no error in the INS decision.

In 1984 petitioner, lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, was convicted of a drug offense and served one year in jail. On the basis of the drug conviction, the Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered petitioner to show cause why he should not be deported, and petitioner sought a discretionary waiver. Although several equities weighed in his favor, the judge denied waiver and the Immigration Board of Appeals (BIA) affirmed.

The district court reversed the order, holding that the original immigration judge abused his discretion and the BIA erred in deferring to ruling.

-By considering irrelevant factors of legal status of petitioner's relationship with the mother of his children, her refusal to marry him, and the "illegitimacy" of his children, the decision was based on unreasonable and improper factors rather than on legitimate concerns. 
-In addition, the judge did not properly evaluate the factors involved and failed to offer a reasoned explanation of why the adverse factor of a single drug conviction outweighed all of the other equities. 
-On remand, the agency was to decide whether, standing alone, the conviction was so grave he must be deported.


The decision to affirm the immigration judge's decision to deny petitioner section 212(c) discretionary relief from deportation or exclusion was reversed. The original immigration judge abused his discretion and the Board of Immigration Appeals erred in deferring to the ruling.

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